Rookie Jersey City Police Office Melvin Santiago was assassinated on Sunday responding to a call at a local Walgreens. Yesterday, over a 1,000 people lined up outside a funeral home to salute an officer who gave his life in service to a city in the hard, urban core. Officer Santiago was 23 and — during his wake — was promoted to the rank of Detective and given the Medal of Honor in death by the Mayor of Jersey City.
On Janna’s way to work this morning, she snapped this image with her iPhone and emailed it to me. She’s done that in the past with a copper moon, and a Steve Jobs memorial, but these flowers, and this mourning this morning was different.
This shrine was filled with hurt and rage and you can find it all right now at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on the corner of West 8th Street and the Avenue of the Americas; for this is the spot where Mark Carson, a 32-year-old Gay man, was gunned down a few days ago — shot in the face by an impromptu stalker just for being who he was — and so the latest Greenwich Village New York City hate crime is now on the police blotter, written in blood on a public sidewalk.
Now that we know the shootings last week in Manhattan near the Empire State Building were a curious mix of both murder and bystander-gone-wrong, I’d like to take a moment to deconstruct the dramatic unfolding of events that happened that morning over a 2.5 hour arc to demonstrate how the social news spread first, as a terrorist attack on the Empire State Building, and ultimately became the truth of a revelatory revenge murder.
Three hours ago, news broke there was a murder on the streets of Manhattan near the Empire State Building — and shots were fired right across the avenue from the CUNY Graduate Center:
A gunman was fatally shot by police after opening fire near the Empire State Building in midtown Manhattan. Nine people were injured and one of the victims was declared dead at the scene.
The shooting occurred at 9:03 a.m., and began near the intersection of 33th Street and 5th Avenue. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly identified the shooter as 53-year-old Jeffrey Johnson. He was armed with a .45-caliber handgun that was concealed in a black plastic bag.
Johnson was a disgruntled employee, who had been fired a year ago from his job as a designer of womens accessories for Hazan Imports, located at 10 West 33rd Street. He confronted a former co-worker, a 41-year-old woman, and fatally shot at her three times, including once in the head.
The East Coast awakened to the news overnight of at least 12 deaths and 50 woundings in Aurora, Colorado as a 24-year-old madman opened fire during the midnight showing of The Dark Knight movie.
The unraveling of the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona over the weekend warns us against inciting the threat of metaphorical violence in politics to achieve literal ends. Sarah “Don’t Retreat, Reload” Palin placed herself in the center of the assassin’s intention with her despicable — and clearly terroristic — weaponized “map” of targeted Democrats, that included Gabby Giffords, placed in gun scope crosshairs on her Facebook page. In the wake of the shooting, the map has been removed.
Forty-four years ago, a man named Charles Whitman terrorized the University of Texas campus when he climbed up into the school bell tower and went on a sniping rampage, leaving 16 people dead and 31 more people wounded.